Google has made their largest renewable energy investment yet, sticking by their publicly-declared initiative to power themselves with 100 percent clean energy from sources like solar plants and wind farms by 2025: the multinational tech company has purchased a coal-fired power plant in Jackson County, Alabama, with plans to turn the declining Widows Creek plant into one of their myriad data centers.
"We'll be building a data center campus on the same site, taking advantage of the infrastructure that was built over decades to deliver energy to the area," said Gary Demasi, Google's director of data center energy and location, in an interview with Wired.
"But we'll actually be consuming energy," he added.
As of now, Google plans to power 14 of its data centers with renewable energy, and according to Google, 35 percent of their operations are powered by renewable energy sources. In total, the plant brings the number of gigawatts up to 842 enough to power two million homes, or a city roughly four times the size of Seattle and, more or less, 3.5 times the size of the city of Boston.
Other recent green energy deals include 61 megawatts of solar from Duke Energy in North Carolina, 76 megawatts of wind in Västernorrland County, Sweden, and 80 megawatts of solar in Chile.
As per a study conducted by the Rocky Mountain Institute, Google is leading the fray in renewable energy purchasing as the top corporate buyer of clean energy, followed by companies like Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. The sudden upticked interest in renewable energy is a result of the White House's American Business Act's clean energy initiative, in which 13 major companies, among them Microsoft and Apple, pledged to increase their use of clean power.